July 3, 2020

Mindfulness: How is can Benefit Modern Education Goals


Most people are no stranger to having the feeling contempt toward education every now and then.

Having too much homework or a lesson that is too difficult to understand are extremely common complaints growing up in school.

With modern teaching approaches taking a learner centred approach, promoting cooperation between peers to take responsibility for their own learning.

Considering this, I think it is a good idea to investigate alternative methods of thinking and managing stress to maximise the benefits a student can obtain.

Modern Education Goals

For education to inspire, it should promote ideas of creativity and individualism. Even in subjects that appear to be more uniform, developing key skills should progress a student’s desire to achieve their individual goals.

The idea of individuality should be maintained.

Put simply, students should be in education for themselves.

Following this, modern education goals can be generalised for students to achieve self-esteem, job and life satisfaction and promotion of trust and justice within society. (Hyland, 2010)

These goals have stoic structure looking intrinsically to find satisfaction and achievement rather than the more material ideology of achieving high grades.

Achieving high grades should be a biproduct of a successful education and not the main goal.

Origins of Mindfulness in Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths contain the essence of Buddha’s teachings and acts to critically breakdown what human suffering is and give a pragmatic approach to resolve it. (Hyland, 2011)

Truth 1 – A suffering exists

To relate this to education this will be trying to learn a topic that is very difficult and can lead to frustration. This is unavoidable if your goal is to do the best you can in an upcoming assessment.

Inevitably, when studying for exams and working towards certain goals, stressful situations will arise.

Truth 2 – The cause of suffering

It is in human nature to follow impulses to run away from suffering using material pleasures. If this nature is indulged, it can lead to habits and patterns which do not resolve the issue at hand, ending in a difficult cycle of constant avoidance which is difficult to break. This causes a greater suffering. This can result in underachieving that could have been avoided if it were not for bad habits of human nature. (Goguen-Hughes, 2011)

Truth 3 – The end of suffering

In context of Buddhism this relates to achieving Nirvana and a transcendent state ending of suffering in your life.

This concept of Nirvana can be scaled to represent the end of a period of intense study and the feeling of achievement of self-betterment and esteem.

Truth 4 – The path that leads to the end of suffering.

Simply put it is the breaking of the undesirable habits of avoidance. This path is described in Buddhism as the noble eight-fold.

The Noble Eight-Fold and Mindfulness

Mindfulness is at the core of Buddhist meditation enables an in individual to follow the Eight-Fold Path.

Mindfulness can be described as a moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness of one’s self. (Kabat-Zinn, 2005)

It enables an intrinsic self-awareness that aids in rationalising your own emotions. The practice increases your ability to separate yourself from an emotion and consciously observe it rather than letting it control you. With this ability the right view, right resolve, the right etc become the apparent to enact.

It is a practice and not a quick fix, like developing any other skill it requires commitment and perseverance to those who seek its benefits. The benefits have been widely noted in the scientific community and well-established therapies have developed as a result.

How Mindfulness can Help Enact Modern Education Goals

How Mindfulness can Help Enact Modern Education Goals

Modern lifestyle offers a constant flow of media and general busyness that can trigger a flight, fight or freeze response which makes learning more difficult. A meta-awareness can enable students to calm minds and their bodies using mindful awareness practices, such as breathing meditation. (Goguen-Hughes, 2011)

The practice can inspire openminded response to what is possible, while continuing to recognise that your current emotions are dictated your thoughts and your past experiences or future worries.

A moment-to-moment approach to learning can aid in improving a student’s attitude, attention and self-esteem in moments of struggle.

The practice of mindfulness can aid in a student’s perception of what achievement is in education, leading away from materialised achievements of good grades. Students develop a stoic point of view, finding achievement in what the individual has learnt and what skills have been developed.